Amy Yasbeck

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Amy Yasbeck
BornAmy Marie Yasbeck
(1962-09-12) September 12, 1962 (age 52)
Blue Ash, Ohio, U.S.
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)John Ritter (m. 1999–2003), his death
ChildrenStella Ritter (b. 1998)
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Amy Yasbeck
BornAmy Marie Yasbeck
(1962-09-12) September 12, 1962 (age 52)
Blue Ash, Ohio, U.S.
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)John Ritter (m. 1999–2003), his death
ChildrenStella Ritter (b. 1998)

Amy Marie Yasbeck (born September 12, 1962) is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her role as Casey Chapel Davenport on the sitcom Wings from 1994 to 1997, and also having played the part of Madison the mermaid in the television movie Splash, Too in 1988 (taking over the role originated by Daryl Hannah in the film Splash). She has guest starred in various television shows and co-starred in films such as House II: The Second Story, Pretty Woman, Problem Child, Problem Child 2, The Mask, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

Early life[edit]

Yasbeck was born in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, Ohio, the daughter of Dorothy Louise Mary (née Murphy; 1922–1984), a homemaker, and John Anthony Yasbeck (1921–1982),[1] a butcher and grocery store owner.[2][3][4] Her father was of Lebanese descent, while her mother was of Irish ancestry.[5] As a child, Yasbeck was featured on the package art for the Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven. Years later, in 2000, she was presented with a new Easy-Bake Oven on the show I've Got a Secret, for which she was a regular panel member.

She spent her elementary, middle, and high school years at two different Catholic schools: Summit Country Day School and Ursuline Academy. After losing both of her parents, her father from a heart attack and her mother from emphysema, Yasbeck moved to New York.


Early into her acting career she appeared in Rockhopper, an unsold CBS TV-Pilot from 1985. Yasbeck has had guest starring roles in many television shows including Dallas, Spies, Werewolf, J.J. Starbuck, Magnum, P.I., China Beach and Murphy Brown. She played Olivia Reed for four months between 1986-1987 on the long-running daytime soap opera Days of our Lives. She also played the part of Madison the mermaid in the Disney television movie Splash, Too in 1988 (the role of Madison was originated by Daryl Hannah in the 1984 movie Splash). Playing a mermaid in Splash, Too was a fulfillment of a childhood dream for Yasbeck as she loved mermaids when she was a little girl at 5 years old after watching a Disney movie that featured mermaids.[6] Yasbeck has also had starring roles in the sitcoms Wings, Alright Already, and Life on a Stick and in movies such as House II: The Second Story, Pretty Woman, Problem Child, Problem Child 2 and The Mask. She has twice worked with Mel Brooks, in 1993's Robin Hood: Men in Tights and 1995's Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

Yasbeck also appeared once on the hit DCOS That's So Raven as the mother of one of the main characters, Chelsea. The episode originally aired on September 22, 2006.

In late 2007, plans surfaced of a potential That's So Raven spinoff featuring Yasbeck and Anneliese van der Pol, who portrayed her daughter, with occasional appearances by Raven-Symoné. The show was scrapped due to van der Pol signing onto a new Broadway play, and Yasbeck wanting to take a break from acting to focus on her family.

She was a contestant on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? in 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Yasbeck is the widow of actor John Ritter, with whom she had worked in several projects. She first met him at director Dennis Dugan's house during a read-through of their 1990 movie Problem Child. According to Yasbeck, Ritter forced her to eat a bagel and cream cheese because he thought she was too thin. He also thought she was too young to play his wife in the movie (Ritter was almost 14 years Yasbeck's senior).

Yasbeck and Ritter also starred together in Problem Child 2 (1991) and guest-starred together in an episode of The Cosby Show which aired in 1991. Ritter also guest-starred on Wings as Yasbeck's estranged husband in the season seven episode "Love Overboard". The couple had a daughter, Stella Dorothy in September 1998, and married one year later on September 18, 1999 at the Murphy Theatre in Wilmington, Ohio.[7]

On September 11, 2003, their daughter Stella's birthday, Ritter fell into a coma when rehearsing for 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. He was taken to the hospital by paramedics. He drifted in and out of consciousness and told his feelings to doctors. Initially it was concluded that Ritter was suffering a heart attack. At 10:48 PM that night, Ritter died. The cause of death was actually an aortic dissection stemming from a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect.

Yasbeck gave her blessing to the continuation of the sitcom, 8 Simple Rules, where it was ultimately decided that Katey Sagal's character would assume the lead role as a widow.

Yasbeck appeared on Larry King Live on June 16, 2008, to discuss heart disease in the wake of television personality Tim Russert's death.

Wrongful death lawsuit[edit]

After her husband died, Yasbeck filed a $67 million wrongful death lawsuit[8] against Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and several doctors who treated him, alleging they misdiagnosed his condition and that contributed to his death.[9] Several of the defendants settled out of court for a total of $14 million, including Providence St. Joseph, which settled for $9.4 million. On March 14, 2008, a jury split 9–3 in favor of the doctors, clearing the physicians of any wrongdoing.[10]


YearFilmRoleOther notes
1987House II: The Second StoryJana
1990Pretty WomanElizabeth Stuckey
Problem ChildFlorence "Flo" Healy
1991Problem Child 2Annie Young
1992The Nutt HouseDiane Nutt
1993Robin Hood: Men in TightsMaid Marian
1994The MaskPeggy Brandt
1995Home for the HolidaysGinny Johnson Drewer
Dracula: Dead and Loving ItMina Seward
The Odd Couple IIStewardess
1985RockhopperSonia PetrovaUnsold CBS TV-Pilot
19861987Days of our LivesOlivia Reed
1987DallasMary ElizabethEpisode: A Death in the Family
Episode: The Ten Percent Solution
SpiesMargoEpisode: Right or Wrong
WerewolfDeidraEpisode: Nothing Evil in These Woods
J.J. StarbuckDoreenEpisode: Pilot
19871988Magnum, P.I.DianaEpisode: Pleasure Principle
Episode: Tigers Fan
Episode: Resolutions (1)
Episode: Resolutions (2)
1988China BeachAirplane StewardessEpisode: Pilot
Splash, TooMadison BauerABC TV-Movie
1989Trenchcoat in ParadiseNan ThompsonCBS TV-Movie
Murphy BrownYoung Lady in BarEpisode: Why Do Fools Fall in Love?
Little White LiesVickiNBC TV-Movie
1990Midnight CallerMary Lou HarperEpisode: The Hostage Game
PoochinskiFrannie ReynoldsUnsold NBC TV-Pilot
1990, 1993MatlockModel Lauren Chadwick
Cheryl Atkinson
Episode: The Cover Girl
Episode: The Debt
1991Murder, She WroteConnie CanzinaroEpisode: Family Doctor
DillingerElaineABC TV-Movie
The Cosby ShowAlicia EvansEpisode: Total Control
1992Get a LifeEvelynEpisode: Girlfriend 2000
Designing WomenTiffanyEpisode: A Little Night Music
Quantum LeapFrankie WasharskieEpisode: Stand Up
1993Street JusticeNancyEpisode: The Wall
1994Diagnosis: MurderKaren DavisEpisode: The Restless Remains
Dave's WorldJulieEpisode: The Funeral
19941997WingsCasey Chapel Davenport
1995Platypus ManWendyEpisode: Pilot
1996Bloodhounds IISharonTV-Movie
Sweet DreamsLaura RenaultNBC TV-Movie
19971998Alright AlreadyRenee
1998Dead HusbandsBetty LancingTV-Movie
1999It's Like, You Know...KarenEpisode: The Sweet Smell of Success
2002House BlendSally HarperTV-Pilot
2003Just Shoot Me!SkylerEpisode: For the Last Time, I Do
2005Life on a StickMichelle Lackerson
2006That's So RavenJoni DanielsEpisode: The Ice Girl Cometh
2007Shorty McShorts' ShortsDanielleVoice Role
Episode: Flip-Flopped
2008The Daniel Family ChroniclesJoni DanielsMain role
Episode: (4 filmed)
2010Hot in ClevelandHailey NashEpisode: The Sex That Got Away
2013Modern FamilyLorraineEpisode: Larry's Wife



  1. ^ Social Security Death Index
  2. ^ Budd, Lawrence (September 23, 1999). "TV STARS TIE THE KNOT AT LOCAL THEATER". Dayton Daily News. 
  3. ^ Amy Yasbeck Biography (1962?-)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Lee, Linda (March 9, 2003). "A NIGHT OUT WITH: John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck; Clowning and Autographing". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ {{Starlog Number 130, May 1988, pages 26-28 "This Year's Mermaid" by Robert Greenberger}}
  7. ^ [1].John Ritter Biography. Accessed 13 November, 2014.
  8. ^ ""Ritter's Family Sues Doctors," World Entertainment News Network, September 10, 2004". Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  9. ^ ""Ritter's family says he didn't have to die," by Charles Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2008". January 24, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  10. ^ Serjeant, Jill (March 14, 2008). ""Doctors cleared in death of John Ritter," Reuters, March 14, 2008". Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 

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